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November 2014 – From the Chair

Published Monday, November 3, 2014 7:00pm

By Mark Hampton, 2014 Chair of the Board

Twenty five and fifty two. That’s right, with today being November 2 there are only 25 days to Thanksgiving and only 52 days to Christmas! The feeling that time has really flown by could be because as you get older time seems to fly by faster each year. Or it could be the busier you are the faster time passes us by. I am going to choose the second option. It sounds better.

The reality is that we in the New Braunfels area and in Texas have been busy. The sales tax revenues in New Braunfels continue to increase over the previous year by substantial margins. I know the Blue Coats of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce can attest to this with the number of ribbon cuttings each week. As of November 7th, we will have held 80 ribbon cuttings. So, by the end of the year, we will be around the century mark in ribbon cuttings.

Being busy is becoming the norm in our community. Thank goodness we got an extra hours rest today. Hope you weren’t so busy to realize that today is “fall back to standard time” where you set your clocks back 1 hour. Here are a few things to put on your calendar:

Wurstfest kicks of its annual 10 day festival and “salute to sausage” on November 7th. This year’s 54th Wurstfest promises to be another fun time for friends and family.

We also have the downtown New Braunfels Tree Lighting on November 21.

On Saturday, November 29 is Small Business Saturday which encourages you to shop local businesses. This is just a sampling of activities. For a list of all the activities, visit

In other Chamber of Commerce news, the Board of Directors recently approved the recommendations from the Water Quantity Task Force. The recommendations are:

  1. Oppose any changes in the makeup of the Edwards Aquifer Board
  2. Support legislation that allows inflows of surface and/or groundwater into and aquifer storage reservoir (ASR) based on local water rights with no negative impacts on the receiving aquifer
  3. Support local supply projects recommended to Region L – such as development of an ASR by NBU, water reuse projects and Trinity Well development
  4. Oppose EPA efforts to redefine the waters of the United States

After working on the Water Quantity Task Force since April, I have gained a whole new respect for those in leadership who have planned for our water needs into the future. The New Braunfels Utilities leadership has done a great job in planning for future demands. Over 20 years ago, NBU began utilizing other sources of water to relieve our demand of the Edwards Aquifer. Several years ago they also began allocating and using recycled water. And currently, the infrastructure is being put in place for additional uses of recycled water in our community. NBU’s plans include acquiring other sources of water like the Trinity, plans for an aquifer storage reservoir (ASR’s), utilizing recycle/reuse water, water conservation and education.

While we work on efforts to reduce the pumping out of the Edwards Aquifer, we are hopeful that our neighbor to the south (San Antonio and SAWS) will be doing the same. The Vista Ridge project is an effort by SAWS to use other sources of water and reduce their demands of the Edwards Aquifer. This is potentially good news. But a big concern for municipalities outside of SAWS jurisdiction is the amount of water SAWS is pumping out of the Edwards Aquifer. This is hard to monitor when SAWS chooses not to record their pumping. Hopefully, SAWS will be encouraged to understand the necessity to monitor and record (at all times) the amount of water they withdraw out of the Edwards Aquifer.

The issue of water is very complex. You have the opportunity to learn more about this topic by attending the Texas Hill Country Water Summit. This event is on December 5, 2014 at the GVTC Auditorium, 8am-5pm. For registration information, visit The registration deadline is November 21. Being involved is important, but being informed is even more important. I would encourage you to attend.

When I think of November, I think of Thanksgiving. I am grateful for the opportunities that we have each day. We live in a great community in the greatest state in America. And while we have much to be thankful for, there are many who have made sacrifices so that we are afforded the opportunities we have. If you have been busy and not taken advantage of early voting, then be sure to vote on November 4th. On behalf of the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, we hope you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Mark Hampton
Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce
Chair of the Board